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God Presence

God Presence

(From chapter 2 of Jesus Christ Heals 22)

I AM NOW in the presence of pure Being and immersed in the holy Spirit of life, love, and wisdom.

I acknowledge Thy presence and power, O blessed Spirit. In Thy divine wisdom now erase my mortal limitations, and from Thy pure substance of love bring into manifestation my world, according to Thy perfect law.

Man knows intuitively that he is God's supreme creation and that dominion and power are his, though he does not understand fully. The I AM of him ever recognizes the one divine source from which he sprang, and he turns to it endeavoring to fathom its wonderful secrets. Even children grope after the truths of Being.

No man knows the beginning of the query, Who, what, and where is God? It is dropped from the lips of the little child when he first begins to lisp the name of father and of mother, and it is repeated throughout the years.

Who made you? Who made me? Who made the earth, the moon, and the sun? God. Then who made God? Thus, back to the cause beyond the cause ever runs the questioning mind of man. He would understand the omnipresence that caused him to be.

Does an answer ever come to these questionings? Does man ever receive satisfactory returns from this mental delving in the unfathomable? Each man and each woman must answer individually, for only the mind of God can know God. If you have found God in your own soul, you have found the source of health, of freedom, and of the wisdom that answers all questions.

Language is the limitation of mind; therefore, do not expect the unlimited to leap forth into full expression through the limited.

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Words never express that which God is. To the inner ear of the mind awakened to its depths, words may carry the impulses of divine energy and health that make it conscious of what God is, but in their formulations, such words can never bind the unbindable.

So let us remember that by describing God with words in our human way we are but stating in the lisping syllables of the child that which in its maturity the mind still only faintly grasps. Yet man may know God and become the vehicle and expression of God, the unlimited fount of life, health, light, and love.

God is the health of His people.

Man recognizes that health is fundamental in Being and that health is his own divine birthright. It is the orderly state of existence, but man must learn to use the knowledge of this truth to sustain the consciousness of health.

Health is from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning "whole," "hale," "well." The one who uses the word really implies that he has an understanding of the law of the perfect harmony of Being. Health is the normal condition of man and of all creation. We find that there is an omnipresent principle of health pervading all living things. Health, real health, is from within and does not have to be manufactured in the without. Health is the very essence of Being. It is as universal and enduring as God.

Being is the consciousness of the one Presence and the one Power, of the one intelligence, and man stands in the Godhead as I will. When man perceives his place in the great scheme of creation and recognizes his I am power, he declares, "I discern that I will be that which I will to be."

Man is the vessel of God and expresses God. But there is a mighty difference between the inanimate marble, chiseled by the sculptor into a prancing steed, and the living,

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breathing horse consciously willing to be guided by the master's rein.

So there is a wide gap between the intelligence that moves to an appointed end under the impulse of divine energy and that which knows the thoughts and desires of Divine Mind and co-operates with it in bringing about the ends of a perfect and healthy creation.

"No longer do I call you servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth; but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known unto you" (John 15:15).

It must be true that there is in man a capacity for knowing God consciously and communing with Him. This alone insures health and joy and satisfaction. It is unthinkable that the Creator could cause anything to be that is so inferior to Himself as to remove it beyond the pale of fellowship with Him.

It is our exalted ideas of God and our little ideas of ourself that built the mental wall that separates us from Him. We have been taught that God is a mighty monarch with certain domineering characteristics, who wills us to be sick or healthy; that He is of such majesty that man cannot conceive of Him.

Even in metaphysical concepts of God, the impression left us is of a Creator great in power, wisdom, and love. In one sense, this is true, but the standard by which man compares and judges these qualities in his mind determines his concept of God.

If I say that God is the almighty power of the universe and have in mind power as we see it expressed in physical energy and force, I have not set up the right standard of comparison. It is true that all power comes from God, but it does not follow that the character of the thing we term

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power is the same in the unexpressed as in the expressed.

God is power; man is powerful. God is that indescribable reservoir of stored-up energy which manifests no potency whatever until set in motion through the consciousness of man yet possesses an inexhaustible capacity that is beyond words to express. When that power is manifested by man, it becomes conditioned. It is described as powerful, more powerful, most powerful, and it has its various degrees of expansion, pressure, velocity, force, and the like.

This power is used by men to oppress one another, and there has come to be an idea that God is power in the sense of great oppressing capacity. It is an ancient idea that He can and does exercise His power in punishing His creations, pouring out upon them His vengeance.

But this is not the character of divine power. If by power we mean force, energy, action, oppression, then we should say that God has no power, that God is powerless; because His power is not like the so-called power that is represented by these human activities.

God is wisdom — intelligence — but if we mean by this that God is "intelligent," that His knowledge consists of the judgments and inferences that are made in a universe of things, then we should say that God is nonintelligent.

God is substance; but if we mean by this that God is matter, a thing of time, space, condition, we should say that God is substanceless.

God is love; but if we mean by this that God is the love that loves a particular child better than all children, or that loves some particular father or mother better than all fathers and mothers, or that loves one person better than some other person, or that has a chosen people whom He loves better than some other people who are not chosen, then we should say that God is unloving.

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God does not exercise power. God is that all-present and all-quiet powerlessness from which man "generates" that which he calls power.

God does not manifest intelligence. God is that unobtrusive knowing in everyone that, when acknowledged, flashes forth into intelligence.

God is not matter nor confined in any way to the idea of substance termed matter. God is that intangible essence which man has "formed" and called matter. Thus, matter is a limitation of the divine substance whose vital and inherent character is above all else limitless.

God is not loving. God is love, the great heart of the universe and of man, from which is drawn forth all feeling, sympathy, emotion, and all that goes to make up the joys of existence.

Yet God does not love anybody or anything. God is the love in everybody and everything. God is love; man becomes loving by permitting that which God is to find expression in word and act.

The point to be clearly established is that God exercises none of His attributes except through the inner consciousness of the universe and man.

God is the "still small voice" (I Kings 19:12) in every soul that heals and blesses and uplifts, and it is only through the soul that He is made manifest as perfect wholeness.

Drop from your mind the idea that God is a being of majesty and power in the sense that you now interpret majesty and power.

Drop from your mind the belief that God is in any way separated from you, that He occupies form or space outside of you, or that He can be manifested to your consciousness in any way except through your own soul.

We look at the universe with its myriad forms and

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stupendous evidences of wisdom and power and we say: All this must be the work of one mighty in strength and understanding; I should stand in awe of such a one and realize my own insignificance in His presence. Yet when we behold the towering oak with its wide-spreading branches, we say it grew from a tiny acorn. A little stream of life and intelligence flowed into that small seed and gradually formed the giant tree. It was not created in the sense that it was made full-orbed by a single fiat of will, but it grew from the tiny slip into the towering tree through the inherent potentialities of the little seed, the acorn.

So God is in us the little seed through which is brought forth the strong, healthy Christ man.

That "still small voice" at the center of our being does not command what we shall be or what we shall do or not do. It is so gentle and still in its work that in the hurly-burly of life we overlook it entirely. We look out and, beholding the largeness of the world of things, we begin to cast about for a god corresponding in character with this world.

But we do not find such a god on the outside. We must drop the complex and find the simplicity of "the most simple One" before we can know God. We must become as a little child.

Jesus said "God is Spirit" not "a Spirit," as in the King James Version (John 4:24). According to Webster, the word spirit means life or living substance considered independently of corporeal existence; an intelligence conceived of apart from any physical organization or embodiment; vital essence, force, or energy as distinct from matter; the intelligent, immaterial, and immortal part of man; the spirit, in distinction from the body in which it resides.

Paul says, "In him we live, and move, and have our being" (Acts 17:28). If we accept the Scriptures as our source of informa-

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tion, there can be no higher authority than that of Jesus and Paul. They say that God is Spirit.

Spirit is not matter, and Spirit is not person. In order to perceive the essence of Being, we must drop from our mind the idea that God is circumscribed in any way or has any of the limitations usually ascribed to persons, things, or anything having form or shape. "Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath."

God is life. Life is a principle that is made manifest in the living. Life cannot be analyzed by the senses. It is beyond their grasp; hence, it must be cognized by Spirit.

God is substance; but this does not mean matter, because matter is formed while God is the formless. This substance that God is lies back of all matter and all forms. It is that which is the basis of all form yet enters not into any form of finality. It cannot be seen, tasted, or touched. Yet it is the only "substantial" substance in the universe.

God is love: that from which all loving springs.

God is Truth: the eternal verity of the universe and man.

God is mind. Here, we touch the connecting link between God and man. The essential being of God as principle cannot be comprehended by any of the senses or faculties, but the mind of man is limitless, and through it, he may come in touch with divine principle.

It is the study of mind that reveals God. God may be inferentially known by studying the creations that spring from Him, but to speak to God face to face and mouth to mouth, to know Him as a child knows his father, man must come consciously into the place in mind that is common to both man and God.

Men have sought to find God by studying nature, but they have always fallen short. This seeking to know God by

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analyzing the things made is especially noticeable in this age. Materialistic science has sought to know the cause of things by dissecting them. By this mode, they have come to say: We must admit that there is a cause, but we have not found it; so we assume that God is unknowable.

To know God as health, one must take up the study of the healthy mind and make it, not physical appearance, the basis of every calculation. To study mind and its ideas as health is a departure so unusual that the world, both religious and secular, looks upon it as somehow impracticable. The man who lives in his senses cannot comprehend how anything can be got out of the study of something apparently so intangible.

The man of affairs cannot see what mind or its study has to do with matters pertaining to his department of life, and the religionist who worships God in forms and ceremonies makes no connection between the study of mind and finding out the real nature of God.

Behold, I go forward, but he is not there;
And backward, but I cannot perceive him;
On the left hand, when he doth work, but I cannot behold him;
He hideth himself on the right hand, that I cannot see him.

Thus, ever cries the man who looks for God in the external, for health from an outside source.

In mathematics, the unit enters into every problem; and in existence, mind is common to all, above and below, within and without. The secret of existence will never be disclosed before man takes up and masters the science of his own mind.

Man's consciousness is formed of mind and its ideas, and these determine whether he is healthy or sick. Thus, to know the mysteries of his own being, he must study mind and its laws.

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Many persons in every age have come into partial consciousness of God in their own soul and have communed with Him in that inner sanctuary until their faces shone with heavenly light; yet the mysteries of creative law were not revealed to them, because they did not get an understanding of its key, which is mind.

Mind is the common meeting ground of God and man, and only through its study and the observation of all the conditions and factors that enter into its operation can we come into the realization of God as abiding health and sustenance.

God is mind; and we cannot describe God with human language, so we cannot describe mind. To describe is to limit, to circumscribe. To describe mind is to limit it to the meanings of sense. In our talk about mind, we are thus forced to leave the plane of things formed and enter the realm of pure knowing.

We can only say: I am mind; I know. God is mind; He knows. Thus, knowing is the language I use in my intercourse with God.

If you ask me about the language I use in communicating with God, I am not able to tell you; because you are talking from the standpoint of using words to convey ideas, while in the language of God, ideas in their original purity are the vehicles of communication.

But ideas are the original and natural agents of communication, and everyone is in possession of this easy way of speaking to God and man. Thus, we may learn to use this divine and only true way consciously if we will but recognize it and use it on the plane of mind.

But we must recognize it. This is the one truth that we have to reveal to you: how to recognize this divine language in your own consciousness and how, through recognition, to

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bring it forth into visibility. It is a truth, however, that we cannot reveal to you by a series of eloquent essays on the majesty, power, and wisdom of God and on the everlasting joy that follows when you have found Him; but only by showing you in the simplest way how to come into conscious relations with the source of omnipresent wisdom, life, and love, by taking with you in the silent inner realms the first steps in the language of the soul.

Compared with audible language, communion in mind can be said to be without sound. It is the "still small voice," the voice that is not a voice, the voice using words that are not words. Yet its language is more definite and certain than that of words and sounds, because it has none of their limitations. Words and sounds are attempts to convey a description of emotions and feelings, while by the language of mind, emotions and feelings are conveyed direct. But again, you must transcend what you understand as emotion and feeling in order to interpret the language of God. This is not hard. It is your natural language, and you need only return to your pristine state of purity to achieve it entirely.

You are mind. Your consciousness is formed of thoughts. Thoughts form barriers about the thinker, and when contended for as true, they are impregnable to other thoughts. So you are compassed about with thought barriers, the result of your heredity, your education, and your own thinking. Likewise, your degree of health is determined by your thoughts, past and present.

These thoughts may be true or false, depending on your understanding and use of divine law. You must open the walls of your mental house by a willingness to receive and weigh these thoughts in the balance of good judgment and to drop out of your mind everything except this one powerful idea:

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I want to know God's Tmth; I am now willing to learn.

If there is not in your consciousness a demonstration that mind has a language on its own silent plane and that it can manifest itself in your mind, body, and affairs, then you can go back to your old convictions.

The fundamental basis and starting point of practical Christianity is that God is principle. By principle is meant definite, exact, and unchangeable rules of action. That the word principle is used by materialistic schools of thought to describe what they term the "blind forces of nature" is no reason why it should convey to our mind the idea of an unloving and unfeeling God. It is used because it best describes the unchangeableness that is an inherent law of Being.

From the teaching that the Deity is a person, we have come to believe that God is changeable; that He gets angry with His people and condemns them; that some are chosen or favored above others; that in His sight good and evil are verities, and that He defends the one and deplores the other. We must relieve our mind of these ideas of a personal God ruling over us in an arbitrary, manlike manner.

God is mind. Mind evolves ideas. These ideas are evolved in an orderly way. The laws of mind are just as exact and undeviating as the laws of mathematics or music. To recognize this is the starting point in finding God.

God loves spiritual man, and that love is expressed according to exact law. It is not emotional or variable, nor is there any taint of partiality in it. You are primarily a spiritual being, the expression of God's perfection, the receptacle of His love; and when you think and act in the consciousness of perfection and love, you cannot help being open to the influx of God's love and to the fulfillment of His divine purpose. This is the exact and undeviating law that inheres in the principle that God is.

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God is wisdom, and wisdom is made manifest in an orderly manner through your consciousness.

God is substance — unchangeable, incorruptible, imperishable — to the spiritual mind and body of man.

This substance of mind — faith — does not happen to be here today and there tomorrow, but it is moved upon by ideas, which are as unchanging as Spirit.

In Spirit, you never had a beginning, and your I AM will never have an ending. The world never had a beginning and will never have an ending. All things that are always were and always will be, yesterday, today, and forever the same.

But things formed have a beginning and may have an ending.

But God does not form things. God calls from the depths of His own being the ideas that are already there, and they move forth and clothe themselves with the habiliments of time and circumstance in man's consciousness. We must have firmly fixed in our understanding the verity that we shall have to square all the acts of our life.

God is never absent from His creations, and His creations are never absent from their habiliments; hence, wherever you see the evidences of life, there you may know that God is.

If you are manifesting health, that health has a source that is perpetually giving itself forth. A perpetual giving forth implies a perpetual presence.

There is no absence or separation in God. His omnipresence is your omnipresence, because there can be no absence in Mind. If God were for one instant separated from His creations, they would immediately fall into dissolution. But absence in Mind is unthinkable. Mind is far removed from the realm where time and distance prevail. Mind is without metes or bounds; it is within all metes and bounds; it does

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not exist but inheres in all that is. Hence, in Spirit and in Truth you can never for one instant be separated from the life activity of God even though you may not externally feel or know of His presence.

God lives in you, and you depend on Him for every breath you draw. The understanding you have, be it ever so meager, is from Him, and you could not think a thought or speak a word or make a movement were He not in it. Your body is the soil in which God's life is planted. Your mind is the light for which He supplies the oil. "I am the light of the world," said Jesus. "Ye are the light of the world."

Intelligence is the light of the world. "Let your light shine." How? By increasing the supply of oil, by increasing your consciousness of life, and by learning how to draw upon the omnipresent God for every need.

Preceding Entry: The Household of Faith 257-259: A Scientific Religion
Following Entry: The Household of Faith 273-274: Jesus Christ